One of the hardest parts of living in Vietnam is that I have lost all my awareness as to what time of year it is. I feel like I’m living in a perpetual state of Mid-June. Last week I was at a training and happened to glance at the computer of the person sitting next to me. My reaction was “Wait, it’s November 20th?” and I proceeded to check my watch and phone. November… almost December… how did that happen. The funny thing is, I always know the date. I think I just forget that it actually is November. Not having seasons is a weird thing. (Yes, I know San Diego doesn’t really have seasons but there is a temperature and light differences that happens as you go into winter. Here it’s 80-90+ degrees and dark by 6pm everyday.) It’s not even really the seasons, it’s the sunlight. My brain is used to less light in the winter more in the summer. It really messes with my head sometimes.
That being said, Thanksgiving snuck up on me…. Kinda. Myself and several people having been talking about a Friendsgiving since the beginning of school. I work with several people who have never experienced Thanksgiving or pumpkin pie. (Take a minute and let that sink in!) So, we planned a Friendsgiving. Even with all the talk it still snuck up on me and before I knew it, it was here!
I love Thanksgiving. Hands down, my favorite holiday. I have really fond memories from my childhood of waking up the to smells of food cooking, my grandma making a pie for each of us, helping at a soup kitchen, and eating way, and I mean way, too much jellied cranberry sauces (I’ve grown up now and make my own. ha ha). Thanksgiving just feels less stressful to me then Christmas.
I’ve spent Thanksgiving away from my family before, but this Thanksgiving I had to work. Not going to lie, I was a bit sad and bitter, but I made the best of it. I decided to dedicate the whole day to teaching my students about Thanksgiving. Most of my students had never heard of Thanksgiving. We made Thankful turkey hats, our buddies came and made hand print turkeys with us, I made cranberry sauce for me kiddos to eat, and read many Thanksgiving themed books. The kids loved it!
Then, during our grade level meeting we had a bit of a Thanksgiving feast!
Best meeting ever!
That night I ate at the cutest vegetarian restaurant. It was hard having to work and being away from family, but I think the day turned out well.
Black Friday. It’s a thing here! I went to use the ATM at the mall and it was insane! Not America insane, but still pretty crazy. The sales here start in the evening after everyone gets off work. It was an eye-opener for me because I’ve always thought of Black Friday and an American thing.
We held our Friendsgiving the Saturday after Thanksgiving because most of us were at a training the Saturday before. That morning was our schools Festival Bizarre. I volunteered to be one of Santa’s helpers and then checked out the shopping before I headed home to bake my pumpkin pie.
For Friendsgiving, I was in charge of the pumpkin pie and the cranberry sauce.
Turkeys aren’t easy to find in Asia so we ordered one from a restaurant, which was such a good idea! It came already cut up!
The food was great and the company was better. It was fun sharing Thanksgiving with friends who had never celebrated it before.
Now that Thanksgiving is over I’m trying to get into a Christmas spirit My apartment complex put up a Christmas tree, then took it down, then two days later put it up again with decorations. I started listening to Christmas music and watching cheesy Christmas movies, but I feel like I’m cheating. It’s too hot and just didn’t feel like Christmas. Thankfully in less than three weeks I’ll be in snow.
Holidays away from family are hard and I hope they always stay that way. I don’t want it to ever become my “normal” that I’m not with my family.
Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉
(***because I’ve mentioned the school where I’ll be teaching I should probably mention that everything on this blog will be my thoughts, not those of my employer***)